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Title: Microbial decomposition processes and vulnerable arctic soil organic carbon in the 21st century

Abstract

Various levels of representations of biogeochemical processes in current biogeochemistry models contribute to a large uncertainty in carbon budgetquantification. Here, we present an uncertainty analysis with a process-based biogeochemistry model, the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM), into which detailed microbial mechanisms were incorporated. Ensemble regional simulations with the new model (MIC-TEM) estimated that the carbon budget of the arctic ecosystems is 76.0±114.8 Pg C during the 20th century, i.e., - 3.1 ± 61.7 Pg C under the RCP 2.6 scenario and 94.7±46 Pg C under the RCP8.5 scenario during the 21st century. Positive values indicate the regionalcarbon sink while negative values are a source to the atmosphere. Compared tothe estimates using a simpler soil decomposition algorithm in TEM, the new model estimated that the arctic terrestrial ecosystems stored 12Pg less carbon over the 20th century, i.e., 19 and 30 Pg C less under the RCP 8.5 and RCP 2.6 scenarios, respectively, during the 21st century. When soilcarbon within depths of 30, 100, and 300cm was considered as initial carbon in the 21st century simulations, the region was estimated to accumulate 65.4,88.6, and 109.8 Pg C, respectively, under the RCP 8.5 scenario. Incontrast, under the RCP 2.6 scenario, the region lost 0.7, 2.2, and 3Pg C,respectively, to the atmosphere. We postulate that the future regional carbon budget evaluation largely depends on whether or not adequate microbial activities are represented in earth system models and on the sizes of soil carbon considered in model simulations.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1]
  1. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
OSTI Identifier:
1503301
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0008092
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Biogeosciences (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Biogeosciences (Online); Journal Volume: 15; Journal Issue: 18; Journal ID: ISSN 1726-4189
Publisher:
European Geosciences Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 58 GEOSCIENCES

Citation Formats

Zha, Junrong, and Zhuang, Qianlai. Microbial decomposition processes and vulnerable arctic soil organic carbon in the 21st century. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.5194/bg-15-5621-2018.
Zha, Junrong, & Zhuang, Qianlai. Microbial decomposition processes and vulnerable arctic soil organic carbon in the 21st century. United States. doi:10.5194/bg-15-5621-2018.
Zha, Junrong, and Zhuang, Qianlai. Thu . "Microbial decomposition processes and vulnerable arctic soil organic carbon in the 21st century". United States. doi:10.5194/bg-15-5621-2018. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1503301.
@article{osti_1503301,
title = {Microbial decomposition processes and vulnerable arctic soil organic carbon in the 21st century},
author = {Zha, Junrong and Zhuang, Qianlai},
abstractNote = {Various levels of representations of biogeochemical processes in current biogeochemistry models contribute to a large uncertainty in carbon budgetquantification. Here, we present an uncertainty analysis with a process-based biogeochemistry model, the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM), into which detailed microbial mechanisms were incorporated. Ensemble regional simulations with the new model (MIC-TEM) estimated that the carbon budget of the arctic ecosystems is 76.0±114.8 Pg C during the 20th century, i.e., -3.1±61.7 Pg C under the RCP 2.6 scenario and 94.7±46 Pg C under the RCP8.5 scenario during the 21st century. Positive values indicate the regionalcarbon sink while negative values are a source to the atmosphere. Compared tothe estimates using a simpler soil decomposition algorithm in TEM, the new model estimated that the arctic terrestrial ecosystems stored 12Pg less carbon over the 20th century, i.e., 19 and 30 Pg C less under the RCP 8.5 and RCP 2.6 scenarios, respectively, during the 21st century. When soilcarbon within depths of 30, 100, and 300cm was considered as initial carbon in the 21st century simulations, the region was estimated to accumulate 65.4,88.6, and 109.8 Pg C, respectively, under the RCP 8.5 scenario. Incontrast, under the RCP 2.6 scenario, the region lost 0.7, 2.2, and 3Pg C,respectively, to the atmosphere. We postulate that the future regional carbon budget evaluation largely depends on whether or not adequate microbial activities are represented in earth system models and on the sizes of soil carbon considered in model simulations.},
doi = {10.5194/bg-15-5621-2018},
journal = {Biogeosciences (Online)},
number = 18,
volume = 15,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {9}
}

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